Three issues into the first arc of Batwoman and just like the series previous issues, the third is pure fire. Each issue of this arc, so far, manages to build upon the previous issue and serve as a standalone issue worthy of praise on its own. Batwoman #3 shines as a dark jewel in the Batwoman crown. Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV start the issue off in a pretty dark place. There are hints of an unseen assault of a youth, followed by an attack of the perpetrator, and the saving of the child. This one page intro was one hell of a way to kick off an issue. The actual abuse isn’t actually seen but portrayed using a moist fruit, word bubbles and context. We may never know what triggered the murder in that alley but we know the perpetrator had it coming and before we even see the aftermath Steve Epting‘s stellar art work conveys enough imagery to bring us in to he dark side.
We find ourselves pulled out of the darkness of the opening sequence to Kate on a mission. She seeks to infiltrate the sinister Kali Corp. With shipside backup , plots are revealed, frenemies resurface and creepy villains reign with well conceived yet, unnecessary elaborate plans that make them seem like rogue cells of Project Mayhem. Luckily, Bennett and Tynion know how to make the insane interesting and believable and Epting knows how to stage a scene without word.
The writing is solid and the art and story are intense. There are no lags, dull moments or even any placeholder scenes, the creative team keep the heart of the story beating rapid fire like the action scenes that come out at the end of a slow burn. There aren’t a lot of action scenes or fights in this issue but, the ones that appear seem more relevant because of the tension that the story overall creates. As a reader, I found myself so wrapped up in the story that I forgot I was reading, I was so engaged and drawn into to story that I could hear, see, feel, smell, taste, flinch, recoil, and dread every moment as the panel or page called for a reaction as if I was there. The way the creative team frames the story, it creates an instant connection with the characters that make you feel involved and invested.
Usually the third installment in a story arc is filled with exposition and erroneous background info, that is not the case here and I’m grateful to the creative team for going for homeruns with every issue that I’ve read so far. Overall, this issue is not only on par with the previous ones but it builds on the momentum created in the previous issues but, connects them adding layers to the story and allowing for some top notch entertaining reading. Bennett and Tynion raised the stakes and, gave us full fire awesomeness that has me fully primed to check out the next issue because, I need to know what happens next.
Story: Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV Art: Steve Epting
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review